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Virtually Speaking

11 Enterprises Getting It Right in 2012 (Pssst: it’s about the brand promise)

Posted by Mitch Lawrence on Jan 15, 2013 1:58:41 PM


Would you expect the same interaction from your doctor as you would a drill sergeant? We’d hope not – unless you have a very intimidating physician (and you’ve lapsed in your diabetes maintenance). There are expectations around empathy, knowledge, and tone.

We understand that difference – and in 2012, we applied it with 11 new clients spanning seven industries. That means understanding how consumers interact in different sectors and how each of those organizations interacts with its customers.

This understanding is important because the bottom line is pretty stark: when it comes to brand experience, merely delivering a search result becomes a missed opportunity when there’s a chance to engage in two-way conversation and live up to a brand promise that scales in a way that would otherwise require staffing armies of individual doctors, nurses, or service reps.

That’s why we take such pride in the success and accuracy of our conversational technology. Next IT is a B2B company, and in our world, success rate has to matter. When a tool like Siri gets a user’s question wrong, they just switch to a browser – that failed interaction doesn’t drastically impact Apple’s brand (maybe that’s why Apple doesn’t trust her to answer inbound customer service questions). But when a subscriber asks their insurance organization a personal question regarding coverage – the answer has to be right, and the delivery has to match the organization’s culture.

In the coming years, we’ll see conversational interfaces becoming the norm – some organizations will get it right, others won’t, and some won’t need to care. Like Siri, consumer companies might be alright with a 50% success rate. But for organizations like Aetna, the U.S. Army, and United – success rate has to matter. Their brand is on the line.

Topics: Customer service, Business, Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA), User Experience, Natural Language Processing